Dinner parties are the life and soul of any friendship. They are a chance to get together, break bread and of course drink special wine. If you do not host dinner parties regularly the prospect can be a daunting one. We would like to give you some tips on how to make your dinner party a memorable stress free experience, that can be enjoyed by hosts and guests alike.
First things first decide on the perfect space for your dinner party. Think about the number of people attending and what area will your guests feel most comfortable in. Does this area have good light? If not how can you make the light better? Darker softer lamplights and candles are always the best option. This will make your guests feel more relaxed and comfortable.
Now to the food, first ahead of time find out if your guests have any dietary requirements, are they vegetarian or vegan? This seems an obvious point but one that is often overlooked. You want every one of your guests to enjoy the delicious food you have made for them. After you have found out your guest’s dietary requirements planning is the key to dinner party success.
Think about a small appetiser that the guests can have when they first walk in, the main meal and a delicious pudding. We advise sticking to one cuisine for example Italian or Mexican, this way you can select dishes that you know will beautifully marry together, as they are century-old combinations.
We recommend selecting dishes that can be prepared before the event. As a host you want to enjoy the evening too socialising with your friends you do not see nearly enough, not slaving over a stove! We advise selecting easy to put together appetizers, such as cheese twists (that can be bought), figs bacon and chili, olives, and hummus with flatbread. Here are some ideas to spark your imagination.
For the main, select an all in one dish that can be prepared in advance and put in the oven an hour before you serve the main meal. This way you can concentrate on socialising with your guests, drinking wine, and enjoy having the room filled with the aroma of your mouth-watering main, cooking away in the oven. One of our favorites is Jamie Olivers Chicken and Chorizo Bake. This can also be a great dish for vegetarians and vegans switching out the meats for vegetarian alternatives, so all can enjoy the same meal together.
For pudding, if you have the time go for it, bake away to your heart’s content. On the other hand, we all live busy lives. There are so many dietary requirements why not buy a combination of puddings,that meet everyone’s tastes. We would recommend a chocolate tart, ice cream and profiteroles are always a crowd-pleaser. Remember puddings do not just need to be sweet they can be refreshing palate cleansers too. Why not buy some sorbets and some fresh fruit! These can be the perfect end to a heavier meal.
Lastly on the food front select some cheese and biscuits, don’t forget vegans and some grapes. If the meal has gone well and people are staying late they often get a second wave of hunger and you will be ready!